Suggestions for Education, Teaching, and Learning Forum Sessions
Teaching, and Learning Forum. This session
type provides an opportunity for individuals to share knowledge, ideas,
research, and applications with regard to education, teaching, and learning in
organizational sciences and related areas. Each forum is devoted to a single
topic. Possible topics include new teaching methods and techniques,
measurement of teacher competence, teaching skills, motivating student learning,
assessment of student learning, and so forth. Participants may also discuss
challenges unique to an educational environment or share research and
applications in educational institutions. Various approaches may be utilized
(e.g., lecture, paper presentations, teaching technique demonstrations,
discussions, debates, etc.); however, time should be allocated for audience
member to interact with presenters and each other, offering their own ideas
about education, teaching, and learning. Proposals are welcome on any
education-, teaching-, or learning-related topic. The
submitter should select the proposal format that best suits the nature of the
proposal. If the Open Format is
selected, all the participants would be listed as presenters, with no chairs or
discussants assigned. If the Multiple Presenter Format is selected, chairs and
discussants could be assigned as well as one or more presenters.
Have Your Presentation Completed Early Enough to Send to Other
The best sessions are those that have a coherent theme and are
well integrated. This is best
accomplished when session members, including the Discussant, have advance notice
of each others presentations. Do
not wait until the last minute to make these accessible. A common rule of thumb is to have the presentation/paper
available 2 weeks before the conference.
Doing so not only gives you more time to practice, but also is far more
considerate of other symposium members.
Preparation of Visual Aids.
Visual aids can greatly improve the effectiveness of a
presentation. While increasing an audiences interest, well-prepared slides or
overheads can be extremely useful for clarifying and supporting key points in
If you need to refer to a particular slide more than once, prepare
duplicates of the slides such that you do not need to scroll back and forth
during the presentation.
A picture is worth a thousand words. When feasible, including
figures will more effectively communicate your message than a large, extensive
table or words.
Error Check Visual and Computer Aids Beforehand.
There is nothing so distracting to a presentation than presenters
fumbling with technology (e.g., projector, LCD) while the audience patiently
waits. If at all possible, error
check any visual or computer-based aids you intend to use before the session
Ask Yourself, Whats the point?
A visual serves one main purpose:
to help make a point. This
concept sometimes gets forgotten, and tables or charts are included in the
presentation for no apparent reason. It
is better to figure out your message and then determine the best way to share
Interpret; Dont Just Report.
As the presenter, you are the expert on the subject being
discussed. The data speak for
themselves is a common expression. The
trouble is, they oftentimes dont and they often say different things to
different people. Your job is to
use your expertise and insights to help others understand the information.
Do not forget to allow time at the end of the presentation, and
prior to giving suggestions for further research, to summarize the main points
of your presentation. Keep in mind, many of your audience members, during the
presentation, may have been engrossed in one particular element of your
presentation, and missed other key points.
An overhead for this purpose can be useful.
Realize That the Chair is in Charge.
The Chair has the job of moderating the session and ensuring it
runs smoothly. So please respect
his/her position. If you run long,
dont get mad at the Chair for telling you to sit down.
By adhering to the Chairs suggestions, the session should run more
smoothly for everyone.
Respect Other Presenters Time.
You want time to discuss your research, and so do the other
presenters. Please respect their
timeit is the polite and courteous thing to do.
As a general rule of thumb, plan on spending roughly one
minute per slide. Therefore, if you have 12 minutes to present, you generally
dont want the number of slides in your presentation to exceed 12-15.
Make Sure Each Visual can be Read Without Strain From All Parts of
A common complaint about presentations is that the audience
cant read the visuals because the typeset is too small.
Weve all seen presenters, time and time again, place an illegible
overhead on the projector and say, I know you cant read this, but
Do not fall into this trap, it shows a lack of consideration and concern
for the audience (the presenter knew it was too small, but did not fix
it). Sometimes, for things such
as large correlation matrices, it is impossible to present the information
adequately. As mentioned earlier
about discussing too many statistics, maybe the entire correlation matrix should
not be presented, or maybe handouts are necessary.
Make sure your visual aids can be read from a distance.
We recommend that you use a font size no smaller than 20 point in order
for your visuals to be legible. Try
the floor test: you should be
able to read an overhead placed on the floor from a standing position.
Bring Plenty of Handouts.
If you are using handouts, assume you will need a minimum of 40
copies. You might want to
double-check the room size for your session.
You will probably also want to have a sign-up sheet available in case you
run out. If instead you prefer to
post your materials online to be downloaded, please bring mailing labels or
cards that contain your Web site. Asking
participants to write down long Web addresses will almost ensure that mistakes
will be made.
Remember, They are Visual Aids.
The most important part of the presentation is you, the presenter.
Visual aids may be a very important tool, but your words and conduct are
primary. Be particularly careful
about the number and amount of information in your visuals, and the number of
handouts. After all, if the entire
message is on the visuals, why do we need a presenter?
Accessibility of the Presentation.
SIOP is committed to ensuring that conferences are accessible to
people with disabilities. Each and
every member of your audience deserves the opportunity to benefit from your
presentation. Please help us with
this effort by using the following guidelines:
Assume that There Will be Some Members of Your Audience with
Remember, disabilities are not always obvious.
Some people will likely have difficulty seeing your visual aids and/or
hearing your presentation. Be
prepared. Design presentation materials that will be user-friendly to
your whole audience.
Describe the Information Presented in Your Visual Aids.
Help the audience see the information by describing and
summarizing whats being presented.
Whenever Possible, Offer Materials that are Easy to Read.
Handouts with black print on white paper are generally preferred.
If possible, provide large print copies of your presentation when
Make Yourself Visible to the Audience.
For the benefit of those who are deaf or hard of hearing, your
mouth and face should be in direct view of the audience throughout the
presentation. When speaking, avoid
turning your back to the audience and standing in dimly lit areas of the room.
Use the Microphone.
Even if many audience members can hear you without it, the hearing
limited may not. Also, each
presentation is recorded and sold, and if you are not using the
microphone, it is often difficult to be heard on the audio.
Turn Audio/Visual Off When Not In Use.
This will reduce background noise that is potentially distracting
to your audience.
Allow Extra Time for Reviewing Information Presented on Visual
Assume that some members of your audience will need time to look
at the visual aids and then focus their attention on you for further
Show Enthusiasm for Your Presentation.
If you cannot be excited about your topic, how can you expect
anyone else to be? To the extent
you feel comfortable doing so, show that you are excited (e.g., Now here is
the cool part, Would you look at this?
Can you believe this is what we found?).
Suggestions for Effective Education, Teaching, and Learning Forum Chairs
Preparation is the key to success.
Planning for the session and helping presenters prepare will
contribute to an interesting and informative session overall.
Plan the Use of Time.
Start and end the session promptly.
As presenters are approaching their time limits, give them a prearranged
signal that they should begin to conclude their presentations.
You may need to stop a presenter in order to keep the session on track. To do this, you may want to politely say, We really need
to move on so we can stay within our allotted time.
The best way to ensure the session runs on time is to let
presenters know before the conference how much time they will have.
Prepare an overall plan and approximate time schedule for the
session. Allow sufficient time at
the end of the session for audience discussion and ample time for setup of the
next session in the room.
Encourage your presenters to practice their presentations to be
sure they wont exceed the time allotted.
Arrange to provide some sort of cue (e.g., hand signal or note) when
presenters are almost out of time.
Be sure to sit in a visible position for the presenters to easily
see the cue, and that presenters know where you will be during the presentation
beforehand. A good rule of thumb is to let presenters know when they have 5, 2,
and 1 minute remaining in the presentations.
Help Presenters Prepare well Before the Forum.
Offer to review the presenters presentation, plans, visuals, or
handouts. Note any duplication in
the content and suggest revisions to avoid excessive repetition.
Have volunteers, or volunteer yourself, to place overheads for
Try to Ensure That Session Members and the Discussant Can Review
Each Others Papers Before the Conference.
It will be much easier to see similarities and differences between
papers when everyone has a chance to review them beforehand.
It will also be possible to reduce redundancies in the presentation.
A particularly effective strategy is for someone to provide some
guidance for how the session will go (e.g., who goes first).
This way, other presenters will know whether or not they should spend
time on introductory material. If
the presentations all address different aspects of a topic area, The presenters may
consider spending a few minutes discussing the topic area more generally so that
each presenter can focus on what is unique in his/her study.
This may be difficult, as some presenters will simply not prepare
their presentation until right before the conference.
But as a general rule of thumb, presenters should have their materials to
the discussant at least 2 weeks before the conference (some discussants may
want more time, so be sure to check).
One useful technique is to set up an email list that includes all
session members. This makes it
easier to communicate, and ensures that everyone has access to the same
Assist with Seating of Those with Disabilities.
Ensure that each member of the audience can see and hear the
presentations. Reserve a couple of
seats in the front and back of the room for persons using wheelchairs, canes,
crutches, or motorized vehicles.
Count the Number of People in the Audience.
Estimate the number of people attending the session.
Provide this information to the Program Chair after the session.
Moderate the Audience Discussion.
Provide a few general comments at the start of the session to
orient the audience to the papers, and how they fit together.
Repeat each question or comment before responding so that all can
hear. For taping purposes, this will
also ensure that the question or comment is recorded.
A few minutes before the session should end, announce the next question
will be the last. If necessary,
politely interrupt the speaker.
Try to encourage a friendly feel to the session.
Work Collaboratively With the Presenters.
Together, can you come up with an interesting spin to the
session? Are there unique
perspectives that can be addressed? Work
together to develop the questions.
Ensure Session Members Audio/Visual Needs are Met.
Check with each presenter to ensure that his/her audio/visual
needs have been met. However,
please realize that no new requests can be made at this late date.
Further, SIOP discourages the use of video projectors (e.g., as hooked up
to a laptop) because of the excessive cost.
Show Enthusiasm for the Session.
Your first few comments will set the tone for the entire session.
If you can show excitement for the session, it is more likely that the
audience will as well.
A good presentation entices others to read the complete paper.
In the past, distribution of papers occurred at the conference.
Many people still use this method and it is, by far, the surest way to
make your research available. Recently,
however, the flexibility of e-mail and the Internet for distributing such papers
has lessened the need to carry as many papers to a conference. Nonetheless, the following guidelines will help make the
process of obtaining electronic copies of your papers easier for others and
Provide a Clearly-Marked Place for the E-mail/Mail Addresses of
those Requesting Your Paper.
In many sessions, business cards are scattered all over, making it
difficult to know who requested your paper.
Provide a large envelope clearly labeled as Requests for XYZ paper.
This not only ensures that all requests stay in the same place, but also
that you dont lose any business cards.
Provide Your Own E-mail Address or Web Address/URL.
It is difficult to correctly write down long URL or e-mail
addresses, especially in a crowd of people. You can make this process easier by having your own business
cards available in sufficient quantities (usually 40 minimum).
If you administer research via the Web and your business cards do
not have your Web address, consider printing this address on the back of your
cards, providing slips of paper with the address, or printing the address on
mailing labels for others to take with them.
Check for Potential Copyright Violations Before Posting Any
Article to the Internet.
Different journals have different guidelines for
posting material to the Internet. Some
journals consider any Web postings as a publication, and will refuse to consider
the article for publication. Others,
such as the APA journals, have specific guidelines one must follow before
posting to the Internet.